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Israel Adesanya reveals his game plan for Jared Cannonier at UFC 276: ‘I’m going to f*** him up’

UFC 276 & UFC 277 Media Opportunity
Israel Adesanya
Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images for UFC

Israel Adesanya never needs extra motivation heading into a fight but even he’s not immune from a little extra excitement when headlining arguably the most marquee event of the year.

The reigning middleweight champion defends his belt against Jared Cannonier at UFC 276 to cap off International Fight Week, which will likely be one of the biggest showcases for the promotion in 2022. While he never lets pressure get to him, Adesanya admits there is a certain kind of enthusiasm infecting his team ahead of UFC 276 where he’s joined by Alexander Volkanovski in the co-main event as the featherweight champion prepares to do battle with Max Holloway for a third time.

“Honestly yes [it makes me more excited],” Adesanya said about headlining International Fight Week during Saturday’s UFC Vegas 57 post-fight show. “I’ll say yes and I like to live up to the challenge.”

When addressing his fight with Cannonier next Saturday, Adesanya was confident like always and he had no issues revealing a very simple strategy that he expects will work once they set foot in the cage together.

“Everyone’s [saying] ‘what’s the game plan? How are you going to beat Jared?’” Adesanya remarked. “I’m like look, I’m going to f*** him up.

“That’s the main thing. I’m going to f*** him up and I’m saying that because I want that. I want people to be like ‘let’s see, let’s see.’ Because I know what I’m doing.”

The anticipation for his fight only multiplied after Adesnaya witnessed his friend and teammate Carlos Ulberg score an emphatic first-round knockout in his own fight at UFC Vegas 57.

While he added that neither a win or a loss from his training partner would have affected the outcome in his own fight, Adesanya recognizes the hard work that he put in alongside Ulberg as they prepared for these upcoming performances.

“We were in the same training camp, you see what [Carlos Ulberg] just did,” Adesanya said. “Trust me, he could have gone three, four, five rounds if he needed to. He did it in one [round]. So yeah, it’s game time. Practice patience everyone ‘cause I am.”

Beyond his own fight, Adesanya is also incredibly impressed by the entire lineup set for UFC 276, which features a long list of former champions, top contenders and notable prospects decorating the undercard between two title fights at the top.

That only makes Adesanya want to steal the show that much more as he looks to put an exclamation point on the weekend with his fight against Cannonier.

“You go on my ‘FreeStyleBender’ YouTube page, me and Alex [Volkanovski] did a breakdown and we didn’t even skip a fight. It’s stacked,” Adesanya said. “Literally, it’s stacked, stacked, stacked from the bottom to the top. There’s some sleeper fights on there.

“This is the biggest fight card of the year. We have to show out. That’s what it is. We have to show out and you know me, when it’s time to show up, I show off.”

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